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tv   Charlie Rose  PBS  July 14, 2015 12:00pm-1:01pm PDT

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>> rose: welcome to the program. we begin this evening with a fascinating and provocative new book. it is by ta-nehisi coates. it is called "between the world and me," and here is what noble laureate toni morrison said about this book. "i have been wondering who might fill the intellectual void that plagued me after james baldwin died. clearly it is ta-nehisi coates. the language of "between the world and me," like coats journey, is visceral eloquent and beautifully redemptive, and it's examination of the hazards and hopes of black male life is as profound as it is rev litore. this is required reading." >> if you were, say an african-american who was enslaved in this country and
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died during slavery that's the end of your arc as an individual human being that's the end of your arc, you lived and died as an enslaved person. black folks lynched and killed in this country in the red summer, that's the end of their arc. there's no broader, bigger justice. >> rose: we continue with the escape of notorious drug cartel leader el chapo. here's the cbs with scott pelley reporting on the incident today. >> the small two foot hole in the ground is the exit guzman used for his great escape. before 9:00 p.m. saturday, he stepped into his shower in his maximum security cell and never came out. according to mexican police, he climbed down a 30-foot ladder to enter a 5-foot tall escape tunnel complete with lighting and ventilation and a motor cycle on rails to carry digging
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equipment. it extended about a mile to a construction site south of the prison. >> when i heard the news, i was quite frankly, shocked but yet not surprised. >> james dinkins former head of homeland security investigations was one of the americans who helped capture guzman in february of last year. >> while they have a lot of information about him, he also knows what information they have about him. so they're back to the drawing board and starting from scratch in many ways. >> gzman's sinaloa cartel is the largest in mexico worth about $3 billion, controlling almost half of the illegal drugs flowing from mexico to america, from rp marijuana to cocaine and heroin and methamphetamines. authorities contribute 10,000 murders to el chapo'sbgang hundreds of those in the u.s. guzman's use of tunnels both to escape routes and transport of drugs is legendary. >> very tight. bill whitaker took a tour of
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the complex for "60 minutes." >> this is is tough. he used one as a safe house days before he was cap clawrd last year. as the police and military continue their frantic search just across the border in laredo texas county sheriff is on high alert today. >> we will not let him come on this side and if he does, he's going to get arrested. that's the bottom line. >> rose: a remarkable new book of the escape of a drug cartel leader when we continue. >> rose: funding for "charlie rose" has been provided by: >> rose: additional funding provided by: >> and by bloomberg, a provider of multimedia news and information services worldwide. captioning sponsored by rose communications from our studios in new york city, this is charlie rose.
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>> rose: ta-nehisi coates is here. he is a national correspondent, editor and blogger for the atlantic magazine. he writes about african-american identity and racism in the united states. his cover story, the case of reparations last june, sparked a national debate. his latest book is called "between the world and me." it is written in the form of a letter to his 14-year-old son. i am pleased to have him at this table for the first time. welcome. >> thanks so much, charlie. >> rose: it's a pleasure, it really is. i'd like to talk biography first, because this is about you know -- tell me about growing up in baltimore, about family, about influences, about shaping identity. >> yeah, well, i was very fortunate. i have six brothers and sisters total. i lived in a household in west baltimore, right across the
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street from the mall where the disturbances in baltimore started earlier this year. you know the world you grow up in, what you know in terms of what you go out and see and then there's, you know the world that's on tv. and the world that i knew was one in which there was a great deal of violence out in the neighborhood, violence shaped the social customs of folks and where a kind of larger violence that was not as obvious, was not, you know, somebody pulling out a gun, was not five boys jumping you, but a larger societal values shaped the aspects of folks in my community. the thing i thought of when i wrote my first book and this book, i lived in a household where i had a mother and a father. this was not the typical profile for most my friends. i had a mother and father who both worked, who were at that point very very educated. i had the basics covered in terms of my food, clothing
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et cetera. yet, despite all that when i went out into the world and left for school every day, i confronted all the sort of things that all the other boys and girls in my neighborhood confronted. >> rose: which was the risk of violence? >> all the time. constant, constant, constant. you know, it's the very little things which, as a child, i have to tell you, i took at normal, but, you know now i look back and it's insane. for instance, how many people do i walk with going to school? i think of that all the time when alan iverson came into the n.b.a., why does he need a possie? i understand exactly. he had come from a place where it was quite clear he needed security around you because you never knew what somebody might do to you. >> rose: growing up, did you think i'm going to do what with my life? >> i had no idea. >> rose: really?
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i had no idea. i knew what i liked but i did not -- i had no idea what i liked might actually be a career because, as i was instructed, what you did with your life or how successful you were in life was basically determined by how well you did in school. i was not a particularly high-performing student at all. so, as i write about in the book, i was kind of caught between two things. even as i talked to you about these rules for keeping yourself out of danger, i wasn't the best at that either. i wasn't the best at street life either. i certainly was nobody's thug or anything like that but at the same time i can't say i even had the security of being a nerd and great at school. i didn't have that either. so i had no idea what was going to become of me, and that, too added to the kind of fear i remembered. because for young black boys growing up in west baltimore in that period, and i suspect growing up in our cities today, school is not just, you know will i get into harvard or not.
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it's not how far up the ladder. it's will i go to jail or not will i be shot or not. it's a matter of life and death. that's the way parents talked to kids when i was a child and that was the message we took in. >> rose: is it true today in baltimore? >> i don't know. i suspected it and, you know, i have been asked about baltimore quite a bit, but i want to be very clear, i haven't lived in baltimore in 20 years. but from what i can tell and from what i've seen when i go back to visit family, i strongly suspect. i just want to high light this. the video of the woman beating on her son the young man who she caught -- >> rose: and everybody is praising for her installing discipline and we need more parents like that. >> yes, but that's fear. she said, i don't want him ending up to be another freddie gray. >> rose: she's afraid. very much.
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so she wants him to go home where he can be safe and protected. that's very familiar with me. >> rose: that's commonly called the talk parents give their children, and they say you've got to stay away from where violence might happen. >> right, right. >> rose: and more, though. ight. and african-american parents understand the consequences. the idea is that you have to educate your children on how to basically deal with violence. over the past year we've seen that violence focus on the police and the things the police do and that's part of it. when i was a child and again i suspect it's the same. you know for other folks. i know it's the same with my son, my child. it doesn't just concern the violence of the police. it concerns the violence of the neighborhood. african-american neighborhoods are, on balance, much more violent than other neighborhoods. >> rose: and why is that? i think that goes right back to what i was trying to write about in the case of
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reparations. african-americans, you know, after enslavement, after that period did not walk out of the chains and the labor and the cotton field and immediately walk into america. in fact, they suffered 100 years of segregation. the thing i focused on was housing segregation. this is very important because housing segregation restricts where you can live obviously. you know, it also restricts what you can do with your money because housing is so central to wealth in this country. it restricts what you're exposed to because your kids can only live in certain neighborhoods and in certain areas. on top of that. all the other administration african-americans suffered from. i'm talking about job discrimination, discrimination in terms of federal programs, discrimination in schools, all of that is piled into one single geographic region and the intability to state that -- you know, it creates a sense of deprivation. it creates a kind of frustration. you have people who have obvious
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economic needs. it's not surprising those neighborhoods tend to be more violent than with neighborhoods with other opportunities. >> rose: you escaped to harvard. >> not quite harvard. >> rose: but for you it was. that's right, it was. >> rose: you called it mecca. yes, i did. that's what it was referred to because of the long history of how the university has of attracting people like toni morrison, for instance. it was an awakening for me, in many ways. >> rose:? what way? >> that was probably the first place where i saw black people who were doing a variety of things. and, you know again, i had been aware of that. i was not totally completely deprived. i was not deprived at all. but this was, like the first place where you met black people who would -- and i feel silly saying this -- but somebody might say to you like, i'm going to take a year off and go study in spain.
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what? really? you can do that? >> rose: yeah. it was kind of, like, that actually happens? the world is not as restrictive as you think it is. just little things like that. having professors from other places. you know, a professor from trinidad, you know. i mean, the very thing i was talking about when i was talking about like what housing segregation deprives you of i had so much exposure at howard university. to just, you know, completely another way of living, quite frankly. >> rose: you also thought of being a poet didn't you? >> i did. i very much wanted to be a poet. i wrote quite a bit probably the first two or three years after i left my parents' home. i think, even though i didn't end up being a poet, i think that likely, you know marked my journalism, like that study. >> rose: it was about command of language or -- >> yeah, and i think talking about the economy of language, you know. >> rose: the economy of
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language. >> it's command, too but it's economy and that is so crucial in journalism. you know, the ability to say something with as much power as you can in the briefest amount of space. >> rose: you met a friend of mine and yours david carr. >> i did. >> rose: your first job as a reporter. >> yes. >> rose: you spoke eloquently about him. >> mm-hmm. >> rose: what did he do that made you feel so thankful? >> well, david saved me life. as i was telling you before, i think i met david about two years after i had gone to college. i'm two years out of baltimore at that point. i was telling you, it was not clear to me that i would make anything of myself. i came from a very, very positive home, you know, where folks really, really encouraged me. >> rose: but your dad was also a former black panther? >> he was, and a person with
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very high expectations for his children. it was not clear to me that i had the ability to live up to those expectations. it was not clear i had it within me. when i went to work for david at 20 years old, you know, very very young just right out of boyhood, he made it clear that i could go this and i could write and that was possible and i could actually make a living doing that. to me, i could not believe that the essence of the job was you find some interesting question, you call some people up you go meet with people to investigate it, and then you write it down, and then they give you a check for it. >> rose: he taught you -- i remember -- the story i think about most with david is i had caught wind of a story in washington, the sort of story i had to do at my job to actually perform the act of evictions when people would not, you know, pay their rent. there was a service, and they were going around hiring homeless people to do these
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evictions. homeless people making other people homeless. david, you know a brilliant journalist but knew whey had to sell a paper that headline got him right away. he said, you know go, find that story. go find it. i had no hint of who was doing it or where it was. i with went down to a homeless shelter a few days after he sent me there and i went up to the first person scared out of my mind and said, how do you do evictions. the guy looked at me and said no, but that guy over there does. and that was the story. and he demanded you go out and face that fear of asking people awkward questions. he was very good about that. >> rose: then atlanta came next? >> no, i started working with david in '99. i worked a series of really not fun jobs. i think i lost three straight jobs and came to the atlantic in 2008, through david, by the way who got me that job too. >> rose: he knew james
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bennett? >> that's exactly it he knew james bennett. he told james, you should take a look at this guy. i'm sorry david is not here to see all this. >> rose: me, too. he was such an often guest on this program. he just had something unique about the ability to go right to the core even if everybody else was somewhere else he knew where it was. >> he did. >> rose: why is what you're doing resonating so much and so deeply with people like toni morrison? >> that, i can't answer. i don't know. what i can tell you is that i think this -- i think certain aspects of african-american humanity, and anger is one of those aspects are not allowed to be aired in public the same way with other people. i think there is great fear how black people talk about their anger, how they talk about their hatred of certain things. i think that makes people very,
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very uncomfortable. >> rose: you also think though, and help me understand, and i don't want to define you i want you to define yourself, in a sense that there is built in to the establishment in america an understanding that building on slavery, that what we have is people who feel empowered to do violence to the body of other people. and i select those terms violence and body, directly from reading you. >> yeah, i do think that. >> rose: it gives them power and control. >> yeah, and i think we have ways of covering that, you know even for people as they do it. one of the things i try to make clear repeatedly is any term you think is innocuous or a euphemism that relates to race and policy on race and black people ultimately comes back to violence and doing violence to african-american bodies. for instance, you take something that seems terribly abstract and
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disconnected is the data over affirmative action. leave aside what you think of the policy, but the african-americans trying to get the advantages for their kids are trying to get them in the hopes that they improve their station and grow up somewhere that's not like where they grew up. behind that is not just i don't want you to grow up poor working class, or whatever. it's almost always, i don't want you to have to walk out the door and have to look and watch your back the way i did. >> rose: and that's why you're writing this letter to your son. >> yes. >> rose: it brings me to a special point here. it is still very much with us, this act of violence against the body -- your terms. >> mm-hmm. >> rose: you have basic terms in how you see that from the president. >> probably. >> rose: well probably... you had debates with him in the
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white house! >> that's true. >> rose: exactly. yes. i think the president reflects, you know in his public comments and to the extent that we've had this debate this time, a kind of optimism very much rooted in the african-american experience. i think, you know the notion of hope, the notion that it will be better tomorrow is almost or maybe not even almost religious within the african-american community. a lot of that comes out of the church, you know, and the aspect or the belief that good and justice ultimately does win out at the end and there is a sense of inevitable progress. the quote that martin luther king used to use and that the president now uses the arc of the moral universe runs long but bends toward justice. >> rose: you don't believe that? >> no. i hope it bends that way. >> rose: but you do not believe that? >> no, i see no reason to be
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assured that it does. this comes out of my own beliefs about the world and the natural world. if you were, you know, say an african-american, you know, who was enslaved in this country and died during the period of slavery, that's the end of your arc as an individual human being, that's the end of your arc. you lived and died as an enslaved person. black folks who were lynched and killed in this country say during the red summer, that's the end of their arc. >> rose: what happens then? there's no broader bigger justice. >> rose: and what about people who were killed by acts of police violence today? >> that's the end of their arc. the arc ended right there as a physical human being. when aragon was choked out on staten island, that's the end of his body. whatever great thing will come out of it he won't see it. assuming some great reform comes out of his death -- >> rose: are you speaking for him? >> no, it's just my belief about
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the world. i don't believe there's an afterlife that he's going to look down and -- >> rose: and you're atheist too. >> yes, and i think that informs a great deal my feeling on this. if you can get that then you can get to the pain of what's actually happening. martin luther king was shot and killed and that's it. that's it. >> rose: and your hero, malcolm x was shot and killed. >> yes. >> rose: and if i were to say to you -- malcolm was killed by black people. >> mm-hmm. >> rose: if i were to say the case that resonated with you is a very good friend of yours -- >> yes, was killed by african-american police. >> rose: but that doesn't matter. >> right. >> rose: what's relevant is he was a black man not who shot the gun? >> yes, and he was living in a system that cast him into a
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black racism. >> rose: black on black violence you don't want to hear that? >> i can hear it. i have no problem hearing it. take these guys with malcolm x he shouldn't have been in the fight. he should have been a senator or a governor. he never should have been in the conversation to the very fact that he had to be out there cannot be taken away from the context of white supremacy. the fact my friend prince jones was gunned down cannot be subtracted from the fact he was mistaken for another black person who was, in fact, a suspected criminal. the reason why is they were boat black and there are certain presumptions made about that. attend of the day it doesn't matter who the agent is. it's a broad systemic thing. >> rose: you believe and write eloquently this is simply the forward projection of history
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from slavery. >> i do, yes very much so. and i think that, you know, until there's some sort of serious, direct reckoning with this, we're going over the same thing. i don't mean to harp but the question of who are the killers and what race it's a distraction that takes us away -- >> rose: tell me, when you watched the eulogy that the president gave in charleston, you were sitting somewhere being interviewed, weren't you? >> yes, but the sound was off and we were looking at it. then i watched the whole thing later. >> rose: what did you think about that because it now is enshrined as one of the greatest speeches -- >> in my life i thought it was one of the greatest presidential speeches i'd seen. >> rose: but... i don't have abu. >> rose: you do. as president of the united
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states -- >> rose: he had to speak that way? >> yeah but i think judged against other people who could have -- like, for instance, had anybody else been there who could have been president, john mccain, hillary clinton, anybody else potentially in that spot, you know, i want barack obama in that spot, and i think the address he gave was better than anything anybody else could do. >> rose: he did do a bow to the fact that we're all responsible. >> right, right. and i thought -- >> rose: and he's always said that. >> yes, and i thought -- >> rose: and you quarrel with that, don't you? >> no, i don't. i think as americans we are all responsible. >> rose: some people are not only responsible but we have to be accountable for ourselves. to read you my impression is -- >> i quarrel with that. i quarrel with the notion that individual virtue is somehow a
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match for the forces and the resources of a society angled in a particular direction, in this case towards white supremacy. i don't think individual virtue which some people call personal responsibility is enough. >> rose: it won't get you there. >> no. my parents were very morally and personally responsible. this did not change a fact that they lived in a community shaped by housing segregation. >> rose: so it's structural. my grandmother, you know raised three kids in the projects sent all three of her young daughters off to college. she scrubbed white people's floors and went to school at night and when it was time for her to buy a home, she had to buy a home in contract in a way white people did not. that decreased the ability of my family to accumulate wealth. no amount of personal virtue on the behalf of my grandmother would have stopped that. that goes to the issue of the statement of society. >> rose: and that's structural. >> that's structural, yes. >> rose: why is there a
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comparison between james baldwin and a fire next time and the you and between the world and me and reparations? >> because i was deeply inspired by james baldwin. that was the core of it. >> rose: what was it that inspired you? >> well, he's a beautiful writer. >> rose: of course he is. no, no, that's what inspired me. literally. >> rose: what he wrote about or the fact of the way he wrote it. >> yes. >> rose: it wasn't what he wrote about, it was the way he wrote it. >> yes, this cannot be emphasized enough. it was the literary ability, the form. he begins as a letter slips into memoir and drawing a theme throughout the book. it's an amazing act of literature. >> rose: what do you aspire to do? >> to continue to write for the rest of my natural days and to continue to -- you know, what i hope, one can't really aspire to this, but what i hope is that allows me to continue to be able to care for my family. and if i can do that, i will
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have a very, very happy life. >> rose: do something you love and care for your family. >> yeah, what else is there? >> rose: pretty good for me, too. >> yeah. >> rose: i do want to try to understand the message. beyond the ol' elo queens, beyond the command of words and poetry, those things are tools and skills in the exercise of presenting beliefs, ideas convictions, experience. >> right. that's true. i'm not trying to be difficult. you're exactly right. you know, it's not that i don't -- i'm a writer, and if not for my interest in the tools, i wouldn't care. i would care about the message but i probably would be home thinking about it, not writing
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it. the tools are important to me. >> rose: the tools for you are more important than the content? >> that's a great question. personally, probably yeah. >> rose: yeah i hear that from you. >> personally, probably, yeah. >> rose: but you're being championed and you're a champion. >> i appreciate that. >> rose: yes, the skill but the content. >> i don't know. >> rose: maybe you have given the content more fire because -- >> my hope some day very very soon, is to use the same tools to do something else you know. it doesn't -- i guess what i'm saying is -- >> rose: to write the great american novel or -- >> who knows. i guess what i'm saying is -- you know, i do not -- i do not when i think about it the rest of my life, see that i necessarily will be using the tools to convey the same message. >> rose: do you go back to all
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that malcom x did and said, are you most amazed by the eloquence he brought to it than what he said? >> i'm pretty amazed by his eloquence. he's the one differentiating there is a lot of people who may have felt like baldwin, salary lot of people felt like malcolm, but the ability to articulate it in that way is incredible. >> rose: what happens and you know much more about this than i do, but what happens is what artists do is they give expression with their intelligence, talent, skill, to what we feel and i suspect you're giving -- people think you're on the raw edge to what they feel. they feel -- >> maybe. i can't -- >> rose: you go to aspen and write about that but do you see people experiencing what you're saying. >> i do very much so.
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the obvious case of that is charleston. >> rose: why? i was just talking about this idea of forgiveness and the way folks interacted with that and the optimistic notion of there being some great justice that will triumph at the end of the day, i don't share that. obviously, a large number of african-americans do. >> rose: starting with king and -- >> yeah, it's all through the tradition. it's even in malcolm x but i don't have that and that makes me very very different. even in his nation of islam the idea that through nationalism one will triumph, i don't that i have that. it's hard to say i'm connected with a large mass of people because it's a very very internal thing. >> rose: but connected -- i mean, my impression was that you had, because of the life
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experience you had because of the curiosity you had because of your overwhelming sense of wanting to understand comprehend, you know, that you were opening yourself up to a dialogue and a conversation to try to figure things out for yourself. >> yes. >> rose: and then give expression to it. >> very true yes. that's true. >> rose: go ahead. no, you. >> rose: no you. i was going to say i'm grappling with the question you asked before about the messages and the tools and, i don't know i love writing. i really adore -- before i came here, i was sitting here right work on something, trying to write another piece for the atlantic and working through problems of the piece and it had to do with much of what was in the book and much of what was in the case of reparations, but actually trying to work it through and make it into something that was coherent.
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like, i really really enjoy that. >> rose: but as someone once said, the joy is in the doing of the thing. it's not necessarily the end result. >> but i think i might be doing it even if i had a different message. and i guess that's why i'm saying that's the premier thing for me. >> rose: do you -- in all that you have done and said here to your son who is 14, do you believe there is something that could change the way things are? >> in that book. >> rose: well, in -- in my writing? >> rose: no, in your head. in your heart. >> i think the idea for reparations is a good idea. >> rose: so reparations one thing. >> yes, i think so yes. >> rose: why would reparations be so important? because it would say that you have been wronged? >> yes, to put it simply i think what is at the root of the vast majority of problems in
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this country in the discussion of racism of white supremacy is the inability to acknowledge the debt. i think that's the root of everything. i think if we ac my knowledge the debt and what we've done to folks, the moral economic and financial debt, our policies would look very different. >> rose: therefore, what's happened to the confederate flag you find what? >> i find progress. it's a very good thing. i think it's a good thing and it's built on nearly a half century of work by historians and activists in this country. >> rose: a half century of work by historians and activists. >> mm-hmm. >> rose: so there is, as the president wanted to take note, progress. >> yeah. >> rose: but progress that came as a result of activism. >> if you asked me had there been progress over the past 150 years as a result of struggle i would agree. what i disagree with is the idea of inevitable progress. i don't think anything's
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predetermined. >> rose: it needed a precippatory agent? >> yes, or when you have the agent present, that you necessarily will win. i don't think it's inevitable. i think we'll see. >> rose: does that make you what? the fact you recognize that has what impact on you? >> well, i think it actually has the impact on the question you asked about what's more important. i think that's the reason why things that are personal to me are so very, very important because it means that you can't really pin your happiness or how much you get out of your life on things that are outside of your control, and that's one of the big messages in this book. >> rose: i believe that totally. >> that whether you live to see you know, the fall and destruction of white supremacy in this country or not, you have to find beauty in your life nonetheless. it's very important. >> rose: totally. i totally agree. i think that comes through in what you're trying to say to your son.
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you've got to deal with the fear and find the beauty at the same time. but you do believe that things can change with struggle. >> they can. >> rose: and they have. yeah, they can change. >> rose: and do you go to france in part other than to enjoy all the joy of france and paris to see if there is a different system approach or point of view about these issues that you have been writing about here and here and here? >> not really. i mean -- >> rose: you're just going over for a good time? >> no, i go over there to explore my love of the french language. i go because it's important for me and my wife to have our son exposed to orthothings. we always wanted our child to be bilingual. that got to be part of it. i do -- you're not completely off. i do go in a sense to see how france deals with their problems. it's not my expectation i'll find it much er? some problems like immigration they don't deal very well.
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>> i suspect that's correct. i think that's very much correct. >> rose: you simply -- if you were writing your own epitaph today, i assume the thing you would like is the first word was "writer." >> yeah, decent human maybe. maybe decent human rather than writer, yeah. >> rose: tell me about your father today. >> my dad works as a publisher and printer outside of baltimore. i was just on the phone with him before i got here. >> rose: and what was the conversation if i may ask. >> what contract for the book because he knows publishing. (laughter) >> rose: what does he say when he reads this and he knows it's his son addressed to his grandson? >> he's proud. there's a degree of distance, you know, a necessary distance that i think he affords me to allow me to tell my story. i think he said that's
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ta-nehisi's story. if he were writing a book, he would probably have a different perspective nigh a different way, but he's given me that space to write which i'm very much appreciative of. >> rose: the book is called "between the world and me." toni morrison says this is required reading and so have a lot of other people, my friend david remnick and so many others have said this is an important book, and we ought to read it, in part for what he says in part for what he observes, in part for the way he says it all. ta-nehisi coates. great to have you. >> thanks for having me. >> rose: back in a moment. stay with us. >> rose: saturday night mexico's most notorious drug lord el chapo guzman escaped from a maximum prison. president enrique peña nieto
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called the escape an affront to the mexican state and vowed to capture him. patrick radden keefe has written extensively phat that guzman and -- on guzman. don winslow is author of several books on mexican drug wars. the most recent is called "the cartel." pleasure to have both of them here. was this inevitable he would get out of prison? >> yeah, i think so. let's back up and take a look at who this man is, he is a billionaire businessman. he's ruthless. he's intelligent, organized and he can't run his business as well from prison. so job number one for him is to get out. again, this is the second time he's done this. it's unprecedented. a man who is number two on the most wanted list behind osama bin laden has now escaped not
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once but twice from the maximum security prison. so i think it was inevitable. >> rose: does it say something not only about him but mexico? >> absolutely. let's take a look at this escape. a mile-long tunnel dug by a construction crew into a maximum security prison, and we're supposed to believe that he didn't have help from the outside or the inside? it's absolutely inconceivable. how did he communicate? who were these people? did nobody notice that a tunnel was being dug across a mile of vacant space under a fence and into a prison? so chapa has the power intimidation and organization to do this to corrupt police and government. >> rose: so patrick give me your on take on this not only based on what don said in that question but, you know, when you read about this and knew about
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it, what did you think? >> i don't know if it was inevitable but certainly predictable. i think that's the better word. i agree with don that what's most disturbing about this is it was an industrial operation to get him out. if you look back at the last time that guzman escaped from prison, the story was in 2001 that he snuck out in a laundry cart, but it's been said by many that, in fact, he just walked out the front door. after that escape in 2001, 71 people who worked at that prison were charged with complicity including the warden of the prison, who was running the prison at the time and i have a feeling that in the coming days and months we'll have a similar kind of experience here. you will be looking at how wide is this complicity and how wide would it go? >> rose: and what would be your expected answer? >> i think what we'll probably see, i'm afraid to say is scapegoats within the local level. i'm sure people in the prince will end up getting charged.
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the big question will be who are the people who will end up not getting charged or prosecuted hiring up in the mexican government. this is a guy who over the course of his career has made billions and billions of dollars and paid hundreds of millions of dollars in bribes. a big part of what he does is grease palms up and down, all across the country. so i think the worrisome suggestion, in my mind, is that you have a situation which there is actually quite extensive complicity with the government, probably at quite senior levels, but will only actually see the very bottom rungs of that in terms of what will be visible and what will be prosecuted. >> rose: but you have a president who clearly knows everything that you just said and everything that don said. is it possible for him to create with the power that the president of mexico has a system that's fail-safe? >> well, this is what's so maddening. when i said earlier it was predictable, i'll give you an example. the a.p. just came out with a
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story about an hour ago saying they've seen documents which are internal d.e.a. documents saying in 20 sh d.e.a. had information. so after chapa was captured, about his family consulting with military specialists about ways of managing an escape, of getting him out of the prison and they passed these warnings to mexico. first of all, we know the mexican government was on notice that there was a plan to escape. this is a guy who escaped before. the fact he used a tunnel. if you look at the history of his career, 25 years ago el chapo guzman invented the border tunnel. >> rose: do you think he escaped or walked out some other way? >> i don't assume that. i wonder if the tunnel story is a face-saving device set up in advance. i more likely believe chapo walked out of the prison. >> rose: we're joined from
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paris by jorge castaneda who was there. are you in paris for anything to do with mexico, jorge? >> yes charlie, i am. i am part of president nieto's delegation of his visit to france as co-chairman of the franco-mexican strategic council, so that's why i'm here. >> rose: twhas president saying to you and people in his official entourage about this and -- he called it unpardonable. everybody's stunned around the world that the president of mexico would allow this to happen. >> i haven't had a chance to speak with the president or people in his delegation. what i can convey to you and the viewers is they all feel dazed as if they have been hit by a train and they really don't know exactly what's going on. you have to recall, this is an
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important visit for president nieto to france. we've had difficulties with france in the past. they have been patched up. it's a big deal. he's the only guest at the bastille day parade. it's a big day for mexico. everybody's now talking about chapo. nobody's paulking about president nieto, other than to say what an embarrassment this is and how incrbl the story seems to be. so it's probably the most difficult moment of his administration so far. he has a way of accumulating difficult moments so maybe six months from now we'll have another one. >> rose: what will it do to his popularity in mexico? >> unless they recapture chapo guzman quickly, this will be devastating, even though his popularity is the lowest of my mexican president since early
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'95 and that's because of the economic crisis. so that's not good. nobody believes he is torn apart in the social media by people making fun of the tunnel or saturday night at the movies or the equivalent in mexico, making fun of where is he? he's in paris while chapo has flown to guatemala and now may show up in paris. it's very sad. in a way president nieto is not directly responsible for this. the guy is an escape artist, they should have been more careful, but it's hard to blame the president directly for having either allowed this or having even, in any way, been complies it with it. but there is negligence involved not on the part of just the people in the jail, there is negligence on the part of the highest levels of government in mexico. i don't think there is any doubt about that. >> rose: let me come back to you don because you have to go.
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so here is a former foreign minister saying, well the president is not responsible but it happened on his watch, and my interest is also is there simply, having everything to do with drug cartels, a culture of money and corruption that in some ways makes this predictable, as we talked about earlier? >> well, i'm afraid there is. the sinaloa cartel has had members of police and high-ranking members of government in their pocket for years and years, so this took a loft coordination -- lot of coordination, communication and help from the inside and the outside, so money often is the answer to that or intimidation. >> rose: patrick, why is he so skilled at being a drug cartel drug lord? is he different from the other drug lords? does he have a better organization? is he more violent? is he smarter? is he what?
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>> most of the above. i mean, this is a guy, interestingly, who grew up a farm boy in the mountains of sinaloa and left school in the third grade. he has about a third-grade reading level. he does text on a blackberry with people so he does read and write a little bit. he rose to prominence in the '70s and '80s, but then likely it was after he escaped from prison the last time in 2001 that he really came into his own. there are a bunch of aspects of the sinaloa cartel that make it stand out from the others, one of which is that it's horizontally integrated, if you like. it's quite diversified. they move cocaine heroin, methamphetamine and marijuana across the border. in terms of violence, this is a very violent organization. i mean, to jorge's point about all the levity on social media about this, you know, i can understand it but it saddens me
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a bit that this is such a big punch line because you realize this is a guy and organization that is that's responsible for tens of thousands of debts in mexico, and i think we can lose sight of that. to me, it's the tragedy of him escaping justice this time, but i think also for mexico it's a real reckoning because it says something about the rule of law in a country if a man who is responsible for that magnitude of suffering can go free. >> rose: back to you jorge. we all come back to the notion that somehow this is the way it is in mexico, that there is a corruption, when it comes to drugs, that is so deep and broad that this is inevitable. >> i think maybe we should split it in two, in a way charlie. the corruption and the drug trade and the absence of the rule of law in mexico are deep,
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broad, wide, intense, whatever adjective you want to use is, i think, accurate. whichever one. take your pick. that being the case, it does not necessarily imply that this guy, two days ago had to escape, that it was impossible to avoid his escape from that prison two days ago. the government was clearly remiss in that sense. they were not watching out. they were not doing their homework. these are two different issues. there is a whole bunch of guys in mexico who are in jail and who do not escape from jail every day, on the one hand. on the other hand, there has always been an antidote for this. it's not great, but it works, which is to extradite these guys to the united states, but not a year and a half later, but right away. it's humiliating for mexican sovereignty, granted. it allows the united states government to know a bunch of
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stuff ant what chapo would have told them about his accomplices in the mexican government. it makes it more difficult for the mexican government to interrogate him freely once he's in the u.s. all of these are downsized to extradition. compared to whom or what? well, compared to h his having escaped from jail on saturday night. so maybe there there was a mistake made by the government by not extraditing him right away, or maybe they made a bigger mistake which is to now in the last few weeks to begin to threaten or advertise the fact that they were going to extradite him, so he went to his plan b, using the tunnel which he had but did not necessarily want to use but once he found out they were about to ship him to the united states and say well, then i'm going to use the tunnel. so i think it's a terrible situation for mexico but it's more a reflection of a general context than something that was
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inevitable in itself. i read patrick's excellent piece in the new yorker this morning. you know, i agree with it entirely except maybe for the last point that it was absolutely inevitable. predictable, perhaps. inevitable, i'm not sure. >> rose: patrick? yeah, i make two points. first of all, i don't know that it was inevitable. on the contrary. i think mexico could have taken steps to make sure chapo was secured. the last time chapo escaped in 2001, he had been in prison for years and extradition papers were getting ready to have him sent to the united states. it was at the point they were going to ship him to the united states that he broke out the last time, which was an interesting question. in this particular instance, after he was captured last february, there's been a big fight between the united states and mexico. chapo was indicted in, i think
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six or eight jurisdictions across the united states and federal prosecutors here were essentially saying, you know, after what happened last time, we don't know if we trust you to hold him, you need to get him to us here. i spoke to a bunch of mexican officials over the past 16 months who said, no, we can do this. this is actually a test case for the rule of law in mexico. it's important for sovereignty reasons that we hold on to this guy. in fairness to them, they said you know, we caught him and the bulk of his crime took place in our country. we're the ones who have the casualties to show for it so he should face justice here. the last thing i want to say charlie, to your question about whether there is something about the drug trade in mexico that makes it inevitable is something that often gets lost when we talk about the war on drugs in this country specifically with reference to mexico is that a lot of the murders don't happen on this side to have the border but we are very much a part of this. we are very much tied into it. it is a cross-border market so
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we're the demand. it's because of our prohibition that this business exists at all and that it's so lucrative. >> rose: hoer harks what do you think's going to happen now? >> two things, charlie. one thing i think will happen, one i hope would happen. one, when the president returns to mexico, some heads will roll even if they catch him soon because it's been so embarrassing for the president and mexico that heads will have to roll. what will happen following patrick's point but perhaps going further is it's time for mexico to tell the united states, guys we're done. we're not going to do this anymore, okay? if you want to stop the drugs entering the united states, you do it on your side of the border. we're not going to put up checkpoints on the highways anymore, we're not going to carry out drug busts we're not going to go after the cartel leaders, we're going to de facto
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legalize drugs in mexico, and you guys figure out what you want to do but we've had enough. 100,000 dead in the last nine years, over 30,000 people who are missing, an enormous amount of money that's been spent on this, the humiliation of escapes like these, the more serious humiliation of widespread human rights violations in mexico by the army navy the police and by the drug cartels also, but they're not part of the mexican state, this is something which has become absurd especially as more and more states in the united states legalize marianjua now. what is the point of having people like chapo in jail and devoting enormous resources to getting them in jail and keeping them in jail and having them escape anyway if, once they get their merchandise into the united states, it's legal? >> rose: thank you very much, patrick, ho jorge.
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>> thank you charlie. >> rose: for more about the program and earlier episodes, visit us online at and captioning sponsored by rose communications captioned by media access group at wgbh
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>> rose: on tomorrow's pbs "newshour", n.a.s.a.'s 3 bill
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